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Equitas Health Provides Expanded Access to HIV Treatment Increasing Viral Suppression Rates

09:22 EDT 8 Aug 2017 | PR Newswire

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to new Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates, of the 1.1 million people living with HIV in the U.S., 49 percent have the virus under control through HIV treatment. This marks a 21 percent  increase in the number of people living with HIV who are managing their infection and are virally suppressed. Viral suppression is the key indicator of successful HIV treatment, achieved when an individual's viral load is reduced to an undetectable level.

Progress in diagnosing and managing HIV is attributed to the expanded availability of testing and treatment options by providers like Equitas Health. Equitas Health is one of the largest regional providers of HIV specialized treatment, prevention and case management, serving more than 67,000, including 5,000 HIV-positive people, annually through 15 offices in 11 cities in Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia. The organization provides a diverse healthcare and social service delivery system focused around: primary and specialized medical care, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, HIV/STI prevention, advocacy, and community health initiatives.

"The significant increase in the number of people living with HIV who have their infection under control is due to health systems like ours normalizing prevention and treatment through integrated care," said Chad Braun, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Equitas Health.  "Thanks to our patient-centered care model 87 percent of our HIV-positive patients are virally suppressed," said Braun.

Despite the decline, the annual number of new HIV infections remains too high and half of Americans living with HIV still are not receiving the regular treatment they need. In 2014, 37,600 new infections occurred in the United States, and the burden remains greatest among gay and bisexual men, African Americans and Hispanics.

Recent research has also demonstrated that individuals who are virally suppressed are unable to transmit the HIV virus to others. "This type of progress represents a major shift in our ability to impact HIV care and prevent new infections. When you factor in the impact of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) we have a unique combination of tools to keep people healthy and help stop the spread of HIV," said Braun.

ABOUT EQUITAS HEALTH

Equitas Health (formerly AIDS Resource Center Ohio) is a not-for-profit community-based healthcare system founded in 1984. Its expanded mission has made it one of the nation's largest HIV/AIDS, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) healthcare organizations. www.equitashealth.com

CONTACT: Alyssa Chenault, 614-526-4161

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SOURCE Equitas Health

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